Last year’s first meeting with Hewitt Midway resulted in an 8-0 loss for Temple. The first time in 2014 was much better for the Wildcats, who might have won if not for Panthers standout Leo Peralta.
Peralta was a riddle the Wildcats couldn’t solve, providing all the offense in Midway’s 1-0 victory Tuesday night in a District 8-5A game at Woodson Field.
Peralta scored the lone goal with 28:51 left in the game on a free kick from 20 yards out. The goal came after he was taken down on a breakaway, a play that Temple (5-5, 2-1) may have had no choice but to foul. Peralta has scored 10 goals this season, half of the overall team total for Midway (5-0-4, 3-0).
“He’s so quick with his feet. He baits you in, shifts one way and then another and you shift your weight to the wrong side,” Temple coach Matt Corley said. He takes two or three steps and he’s behind you.”
The first half was practically even as both teams had two good scoring chances.
Midway’s Logan Hickey got free for a shot from 10 yards out in the 32nd minute, but Temple goalie Brett Wilson smothered the attempt. Wilson also made a diving save on an Emanuel Barbus blast from 20 yards out off an indirect free kick in the 39th minute for another of his eight saves.
A shot from 15 yards out by Temple’s Roman Zavaleta in the fourth minute was stopped by goalie Zach Hammond. In the 24th minute a corner kick by Ryan Snow set up a shot by Matt Staats from about 10 yards out that went wide right.
Midway had a 6-4 edge in shots on goal in the second half and appeared to have more control. Peralta nearly had a goal in the 66th minute, but a 10-yard shot from the left side deflected off the right post and a Temple defender.
The Wildcats’ best scoring chance in the second half was in the 76th minute when Cole Martin’s throw from the right sideline was missed by several Temple players before Hammond grabbed it for his seventh save.
“They pressured us a lot in our half and didn’t give us a chance to get out,” Corley said about the second half. “Midway doesn’t give you a lot of room in the defensive half.”
Corley felt the game had a playoff atmosphere, an experience that could pay off for his team.
“Am I disappointed that we lost? Yes. Disappointed in the way we played? Absolutely not,” said Corley, whose team plays at rival Belton on Friday. “If we can re-create that intensity, we’ll be fine.”